Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Kim summit: North Korea hails 'new era' of relations with the US

Singapore Jun 10 US President Donald Trump arrived in Singapore today for the summit with his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un Singapore Jun 10 US President Donald Trump arrived in Singapore today for the summit with his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un
Jeannette Daniel | 14 June, 2018, 03:48

While North Korea spoke of establishing a new "permanent peace-keeping mechanism" and its state-run news agency hailed a "new era" in relations with the US, Trump tweeted about how pleased he was to be in Singapore.

With all the attention focused on Singapore and the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Pyongyang must be buzzing with excitement, right?

USA and North Korean officials are meeting Monday at the Ritz Carlton in this island city-state to negotiate before a sit-down meant to settle a standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal.

Earlier this year, North Korean leader said he was ready to denuclearize and signed a corresponding agreement with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the inter-Korean summit in the truce village of Panmunjom in late April.

Trump and Kim are set to meet on Tuesday at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa for talks which could see North Korea dismantle its nuclear arsenal in return for economic help and security guarantees.

Although gaps remain over what denuclearisation would entail, Trump sounded a positive note in a lunch meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

A Trump administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. side was entering the talks with a sense of optimism and an equal dose of scepticism given North Korea's long history of developing nuclear weapons.

More news: Nine-year-old in rehab after becoming addicted to Fortnite video game

Singapore is hosting this year's meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which has seen the USA and China jockey for diplomatic influence in recent weeks.

The summit has raised hopes of progress towards a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War, the last festering legacy of the Cold War, after hostilities only stopped with an armistice.

Another possibility from the summit is a deal to end the Korean War, which North Korea has long demanded, presumably, in part, to get US troops off the Korean Peninsula and, eventually, pave the way for a North Korean-led unified Korea.

Instead, North Korea's capital was like the calm in the center of a storm.

Just meeting with Trump will also give Kim a recognition North Korea has long sought, setting him up as global player and the leader of a country worthy of respect.

Trump advisers cast his actions as a show of strength before the Kim meeting.

The summit, which was on a brink of being canceled multiple times, may bring a certain amount of diplomatic and political benefits for both leaders.

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